Our History

The Old Priory is more than just inspired bed and breakfast, shared and self-contained accommodation. This picturesque three-acre location is a wellspring of fascinating Beechworth history — teamed with modern-day romance and adventure.

Hallmarks of a noble history

Enriching people's lives and experiences — The Old Priory has made this an enduring legacy.

Four Irish Brigidine nuns took charge of St Joseph’s School and 10 adjacent acres of land in 1887. Thus the Old Priory property was established as the Brigidine Convent of Mt St Joseph. The school reached its attendance zenith in the 1960s with 150 students. So many stories of childhood, learning and industry were amassed within the bounds of the convent. Yet by 1978 declining student numbers ushered in a new chapter in the property's history. As the school and convent closed, the property passed to private enterprise.

A new chapter unfolds

In May 1986, the Herald Sun real estate pages told of a grand Beechworth mansion for sale. Three stories of historic grandeur and glorious rambling grounds comprised the picturesque estate. A family visited and fell immediately in love. The property was The Old Priory and the family were the Bells. In 1986, the year of the Brigidine Sisters' Centennial, Graeme and Pam Bell together with their three daughters made The Old Priory home.

The Priory originally operated solely as a school camp facility, then after a couple of years of hard work and renovations the Bell’s extended business trade to a host of shared and self-contained heritage accommodation options, function facilities and wedding packages.

The Old Priory is a genuine family business. The friendly Priory staff are dedicated and experienced in always keeping guests in good hands.

For any visitor passionate about Beechworth or simply curious about the region and its history, The Old Priory is a perfect choice.

Check out our team page for a listing of who does what!